Diversion of Water from the Great Lakes and Niagara River


Uncommon two volume set showing proposed improvements on waterways across the Midwest and Northeast.

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“The most important features of the report are discussions of, first, the diversion of water from Lake Michigan through the Chicago Sanitary Canal; second, existing and proposed diversions from Lake Erie; third, present diversions for power purposes from above Niagara Falls, possible increases in these diversions, the utilization of diverted water to the greatest advantage and the works which will neutralize or compensate for injurious effects of such diversions, whether upon scenic beauty or upon the navigable capacity of the Great Lakes system; fourth, the possibility or advantage of combining the interests of navigation and of power production in a diversion into a navigable canal connecting the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario; and finally, the provisions of the existing treaty regarding boundary waters and suggestions of changes in and additions to it necessary to promote the interests of both the United States and Canada and to safeguard them more adequately.” [pg. 15-16].

This fascinating two-volume government report provides a comprehensive overview of the monumental efforts of the Board of Engineers under Secretary of War Newton Baker to develop the Great Lakes waterways system. Improved hydroelectric power generation and navigational capacity were the primary concerns, as noted in the brief summary above.

Numerous scientific studies, tables of statistics, engineering designs, photographs, and letters of correspondence are included in the publication, issued by the Government Printing Office in 1921. The accompanying atlas includes 53 of the 57 total plates. These include a variety of maps, diagrams, and charts providing additional details on the various proposed improvements.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1921

Author: Newton Baker

Sheet Width (in): See Description

Sheet Height (in): See Description

Condition: A

Condition Description: This rare two volume set has an attractive contemporary binding in full maroon cloth with gilt embossed spines, including a custom slipcase for the atlas. Volume I is 415 pp. and includes 183 photographs, including some fold-outs. Bookbinders stamp on the front endpaper. The accompanying atlas volume contains 53 of the 57 plates (missing 22, 23, 52, 53) and includes a duplicate Plate 13. All folding maps are in very good to near fine condition, with light oxidization and creasing along fold lines.


1 in stock